Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Alaska Here We Come!

OK, today is the day we venture back off to Alaska and try something new - something really new, as it is only the second cruise on the revamped SS Legacy of Un-Cruise Adventures, and it promises to be a special voyage indeed.

It will all be featured in the Autumn edition of World of Cruising (providing we have no delays on the flight back!) and is a voyage we have been keenly looking forward to since Un-Cruise announced the first of their Heritage Adventure cruises earlier this year.

First of all the Legacy is an 88-passenger replica Victorian steamship designed for coastal and river-cruising. Formerly the Spirit of '98 of failed line Cruise West, she has been rescued by Un-Cruise and given a new lease of life following her christening earlier this month.

And, while Un-Cruise already feature Active Adventures (on three ships in Alaska, Coastal Washington and British Columbia), and their Luxury Adventure style (four even smaller vessels visiting Hawaii and Mexico's Sea of Cortes), the Heritage Adventures are completely new and limited purely to the SS Legacy.

The idea is they will provide a historic and more personal view of the areas they travel, and our cruise from Juneau in Alaska back down to Seattle in Washington state has a Gold Rush heritage theme, so we will get to hear about the 19th century history of the region, as well as sail up-close-and-personal in the 49th state and get some more great looks at one of our favourite parts of the world with its amazing scenery and wildlife.

It all kicks off tomorrow from the Alaskan capital (we're staying overnight in Juneau at the Westmark Baranof Hotel), as we board our chic little vessel and get acquainted with our fellow passengers and the crew, who promise:

  • Interpretive staff preparing guests for visits ashore.
  • Characters appearing in period costume.
  • Presentations by knowledgeable historians.
  • Expert guest speakers stepping on board to keep the history alive.
  • Important artifacts in the regions visited.
  • Local residents sharing their heritage.
  • Informative activities to enhance the place in time.
  • And all aboard a replica coastal steamer with Victorian-style d├ęcor.

Along the way, we will visit Sitka, Wrangell, Haines, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Petersburg and Frederick Sound in Alaska (with some truly out-of-the-way stops en route), and Johnston Strait and the San Juan Islands in Washington, before we reach our end destination of Seattle.

It all shapes up to be a truly original and captivating voyage, with just one small drawback. With the vessel itself and in most of the areas we're travelling, there is no Internet
connection for nearly all the way, so it's unlikely we'll be able to report back as we go (plus, we may well be too busy soaking up all the Alaskan heritage to sit in front of a laptop for long!).

However, we WILL post a day-by-day look at things once we're back and, of course, you can't miss our Autumn issue for the full story and photos. Make sure you subscribe on this link!